A tailor's smoothing-iron; so called because its handle resembles the neck of a goose.
“Come in; tailor; here you may roast your goose.” —Shakespeare: Macbeth, ii. 3.
Ferrara geese. Celebrated for the size of their livers. The French pâte de foie gras, for which Strasbourg is so noted, is not a French invention, but a mere imitation of a well-known dish of classic times.
“I wish, gentlemen, it was one of the geese of Ferrara, so much celebrated among the ancients for the magnitude of their livers, one of which is said to have weighed upwards of two pounds. With this food, exquisite as it was, did Heliogabalus regale his hounds.” —Smollett: Peregrine Pickle.
Wayz Goose. (See Wayz.)
I'll cook your goose for you. I'll pay you out. Eric, King of Sweden, coming to a certain town with very few soldiers, the enemy, in mockery, hung out a goose for him to shoot at. Finding, however, that the king meant business, and that it would be no laughing matter for them, they sent heralds to ask him what he wanted. “To cook your goose for you,” he facetiously replied.
He killed the goose to get the eggs. He grasped at what was more than his due, and lost an excellent customer. The Greek fable says a countryman had a goose that laid golden eggs; thinking to make himself rich, he killed the goose to get the whole stock of eggs at once but lost everything.
He steals a goose, and gives the giblets in alms. He amasses wealth by over-reaching, and salves his conscience by giving small sums in charity.
The older the goose the harder to pluck. Old men are unwilling to part with their money. The reference is to the custom of plucking live geese for the sake of their quills. Steel pens have put an end to this barbarous custom.
To get the goose. To get hissed on the stage. (Theatrical.) What a goose you are. In the Egyptian hieroglyphics the emblem of a vain silly fellow is a goose.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894